Thomas Frank On Mass. Democrats And The Innovation Economy

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An Uber driver sits in his car near the San Francisco International Airport.  

 (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)
An Uber driver sits in his car near the San Francisco International Airport. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)

In his new book, journalist Thomas Frank offers a passionate critique of Massachusetts Democrats and the booming economy they've helped create.

He calls Boston "the spiritual homeland of the professional class and a place where modern liberalism has grown and flourished without restraint."

He calls it a "liberalism of the rich." Frank says it has helped fuel a booming innovation economy — but also the highest rates of economic disparity in the nation. He also says the Massachusetts economy has been shaped in a big way by the high number of private colleges and universities and their close relationships to industry.


Thomas Frank, political analyst, historian, journalist and columnist for Harper's Magazine. His new book is "Listen, Liberal: Or, What Ever Happened to the Party of the People?"


The New York Times: Thomas Frank Thinks Hillary Should Woo The Working Class

  • "I call it a microclimate of virtue: these wealthy liberals making themselves feel good despite the kind of awful anti-­labor policies that they have."

Slate: What’s The Matter With Kansas? And Maine. And New Mexico...

  • "One of the contrasts between Obama and Bush that was so striking was that Bush filled his administration with hacks and cronies and they proceeded to screw everything up. Obama did the opposite, and brought in the best and the brightest, and in some really important ways, the differences with Bush were really small. That really bothered me."

The Washington Post: The Man Who Asked ‘What’s The Matter With Kansas?’ Now Wonders What’s The Matter With Democrats

  • "In 2004, Thomas Frank published "What's The Matter with Kansas," a book asking why so many working-class and poor white Americans in the heartland had taken to voting for a party that in both word and deed advanced policies of great value to the rich. In short, the question was: Why were these folks Republicans when Republicans weren't with them?"

This segment aired on May 31, 2016.


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